Janvier Rutsobe graduated from Texas Christian University and is currently working as a Junior Finance Associate at MASS Design Group in Kigali. He works specifically with the MASS Build team, the construction arm of the organization, and is currently assigned to the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which is being constructed in Kinigi, Musanze. As the Operations Lead, he is assisting in all operations, finance, and human resource activities.
What is a significant project or experience you have had on the job? What did you learn? How did you grow?
I have worked on great projects for the past 1.5 years and they all had a different impact on me and provided me various growth opportunities. At MASS Build, my current role allows me to tap into different parts of who I am, including leveraging my skills and my personality in my assignments. I work with the local people in Kinigi (Abanyakinigi) on a daily basis, and it is so rewarding to hear their stories and their gratitude for the small contribution my team brings to their community. Abanyakinigi work hard and are very zealous; they constantly remind me what it means to work hard, be humble, and have fun as we build our country – one project at a time.
What do you love most about your job?
I love many things about my job, but 3 are more outstanding:
- The impact. I love getting to work with the people whom the results of my work will directly impact – the community people. It adds another layer of caution, tenacity, and encouragement.
- The flexibility and confidence to find solutions. This is derived from good leadership at MASS, which makes it favorable to put forth ideas.
- The network. In my line of work, I come across brilliant people (in their respective fields), who inspire me to explore my potential to a deeper level.
What advice would you give university students/graduates who are looking to launch their careers back home?
Plan early – The transition from college to a professional career can be challenging and daunting if not prepared for. Make sure you have your Plan A, B, C – the more, the merrier. Fortunately, The BRIDGE is there to help you with your planning; be sure to utilize their resources.
What role has The BRIDGE played in helping you find a job in Rwanda?
The BRIDGE team played a major role in helping me land my first job out of college. The team has a vast network, which they reached out to on my behalf. I have involved the BRIDGE in sharing my resume to potential employers, securing interviews, and even making a decision when presented with job offers.
Finishing and excelling in college is quite different from getting ready to launch a professional career. Employers are not interested in your grades; they are interested in what you can bring to the table. It’s true that the grades may help you walk through the door, but your skills and attitude will help you stay inside. The BRIDGE assists in making sure you sharpen your skills when you are still in college – through internships – and get a glimpse of what it is needed on the market. I consider the BRIDGE team to be a great resource, and like any other great resource, your yield from the team will, to a great extent, depend on how you use it. INVOLVE them, LEVERAGE them and PARTNER with them.